By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Within six days, the Havre Blue Pony golf teams will know the outcome of not only the Central A division, but also the State A tournament.
And the Ponies have a bright outlook on both tournaments.
Friday, Havre will shoot a practice round at the Lewistown Golf Course in preparation for the Central A divisional that will be held Saturday on the course.
The Pony boys' team finished second last year at the tournament, but have a solid core team of sophomores who could win the title.
"The boys have an excellent chance," Havre head coach Keith Evenson said. "I am very optimistic the girls will make it to state."
The top four teams advance from the division, or, if a team does not qualify, the top 20 individuals also advance.
Havre, Livingston, Lewistown, Belgrade, Browning, Anaconda, Dillon, and a girls'-only team from Butte Central will be participating in the 18-hole tournament.
"I feel very confident with the way the kids are playing," Evenson said.
Nick Obie, Kevin Harada, Jason Johnstone, Troy Toner, and Kyle Sheppard will represent the boys, while Lisa Wagner, Jessica Sande, Julie Wagner, Jenni Solomon, and Katie Miller will represent the girls.
The boys placed second at divisionals last season, just four strokes off first-place finisher Dillon. The Ponies have not met the Beavers this season in head-to-head action.
"The best thing is our depth," Evenson said. "Any of our kids can be medalists. They all have that ability."
The boys have finished either first or second at every tournament so far this season. Lewistown, on their own course just two weeks ago, won a team title over the Blue Ponies, who were without their full varsity team.
"The girls are hitting the ball really well," Evenson said. "They are all improving on their game."
Lisa Wagner, who has been consistently shooting in the 40s, has been the team leader this year.
Last season, the girls team qualified for state. Dillon placed first at divisional and Belgrade second.
"I feel very confident," Evenson said. "The kids are great kids. I think we will do very well."
The State A tournament will be held at the Whitefish Lake Country Club Tuesday and Wednesday next week. Havre will shoot a practice round on Monday in preparation for the 36-hole tournament.